Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have reacted to the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, saying “the world is exceptionally fragile right now”. The Duke of Sussex worked two frontline tours of Afghanistan during his 10 years in the British Army. Harry and Meghan, writing on their website Archewell, said “we all feel the many layers of pain due to the situation in Afghanistan, we are left speechless.”
The couple also commented on the coronavirus pandemic and the humanitarian situation in Haiti following an earthquake and tropical storm. They urged people to donate to those in need.
“We are left heartbroken,” they said. “And as we all witness the continuing global health crisis, exacerbated by new variants and constant misinformation, we are left scared.
“When any person or community suffers, a piece of each of us does so with them, whether we realize it or not. And though we are not meant to live in a state of suffering, we, as a people, are being conditioned to accept it. It’s easy to find ourselves feeling powerless, but we can put our values into action — together.
“To start, we encourage you to join us in supporting a number of organizations doing critical work. We also urge those in positions of global influence to rapidly advance the humanitarian dialogues that are expected to take place this fall at multilateral gatherings such as the U.N. General Assembly and the G20 Leaders’ Summit.
“As an international community, it is the decisions we make now — to alleviate suffering among those we know and those we may never meet — that will prove our humanity.”
Their statement comes after Prince Harry spoke out on the fall of Afghanistan via his Invictus Games Foundation, which supports injured war veterans.
Chaos unfolded at the airport in Kabul on Monday as Afghan citizens tried to force their way onto American planes to flee the country which has fallen under Taliban control. Taliban militants in the last few weeks rapidly took control of provincial capitals and eventually occupied the capital city Kabul, prompting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to flee the country on Sunday.
The Taliban takeover has put thousands of Afghans, particularly those who helped U.S. forces, at risk. The Taliban has since returned to power and this comes after a US-led intervention ousted them in 2001. The Islamist group was able to take power on Sunday after most foreign troops pulled out.
Many desperate Afghans subsequently moved to the airport where U.S. troops were organizing evacuations for foreigners and vulnerable residents.
Amnesty International has said decisions from the White House “only fanned the flames of this humanitarian catastrophe.”
“Every moment that the Biden administration continues not to course correct could have horrific consequences, exacerbating the already atrocious failures to support the people of Afghanistan, including the Afghans who risked their lives and those of their families to provide assistance to the U.S,” the statement said.
At the moment, U.S. forces have secured the airport perimeter in Kabul. A defense official said an agreement had been reached that Taliban forces would not interfere with evacuation efforts at the airport, according to the Associated Press.
On Tuesday, following a request from the U.S. government, Uganda agreed to take in 2,000 refugees who have fled Afghanistan.